[TUC Spoilers] Ajokli and the metaphysical whodunit

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« Reply #105 on: October 09, 2017, 03:37:34 pm »
Quote from:  H
I just don't think the "all Ajokli" explanation fits any more than the "all Kellhus" explanation.

The key is that both are entangled with each other.  It doesn't seem, to me, to fit the narrative and thematic purpose if it's so cut and dry.

Right. I don't think it is "all Kellhus", I just do attribute the dialogue to him up until it's obvious that Ajokli has taking over. You know from Malowebi saying how it looks like Kellhus has black globular on him that that is Ajokli inhabiting him, or beginning to. I just don't think Ajokli decides to take over until....well he takes over, ghost rider style.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

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« Reply #106 on: October 09, 2017, 03:50:01 pm »
Quote from:  Smiler Loki
Then what would those terms be, if he isn't relying on a divine agency to back him up when he is clearly outmatched and knows this?

On a different note, I like how Malowebi calls Ajokli "the Ciphrang-God".

How does he know he is outmatched? I never got the feeling he felt outmatched. As Bakker said, he had become so powerful he was literally speaking with the Gods voice.

I don't know what they would be with or without devine agency to back him up. I don't know what the plan was, not does anyone else it seems. I do think Ajokli used him, and some pacts had to be made. As, Kellhus calls himself the Inverse Prophet. He brought news of the Consult to the Gods. I just think he had his own ideas of what was going to go down and not Ajokli taking over and leaving him vulnerable.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

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« Reply #107 on: October 09, 2017, 03:56:51 pm »
Right. I don't think it is "all Kellhus", I just do attribute the dialogue to him up until it's obvious that Ajokli has taking over. You know from Malowebi saying how it looks like Kellhus has black globular on him that that is Ajokli inhabiting him, or beginning to. I just don't think Ajokli decides to take over until....well he takes over, ghost rider style.

I agree in principle, but I do doubt that it is strictly true.  We know that Kellhus was increasingly influenced by "darkness" as he neared Golgotterath and at least some (or maybe even most) was Ajolki's doing.  So, while I do think that is "Kellhus" talking before his head is a gout of flames, I really doubt it is "pure Kellhus" and even that a "pure Kellhus" exists at that point.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

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« Reply #108 on: October 09, 2017, 04:05:22 pm »
Quote from:  phrase
Trying to prevent an asset turning against Kellhus?  I don't think it's so much about Ajokli caring as wanting to ensure there were any hiccups along the way (PS how'd that work out for you, Ajokli?).

How did it work out for me? That he made a pact with Ajokli? Fits with him using the Diamos to roam hell. There is a reason Bakker won't talk about Haloes. I think Kellhus was always going to betray Ajokli. That's why I pointed to "avert your eyes". Kellhus had plans past the GR, I believe. RSB circa 2017 " Kellhus is dead....but not done."
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

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« Reply #109 on: October 09, 2017, 04:17:28 pm »
Right. I don't think it is "all Kellhus", I just do attribute the dialogue to him up until it's obvious that Ajokli has taking over. You know from Malowebi saying how it looks like Kellhus has black globular on him that that is Ajokli inhabiting him, or beginning to. I just don't think Ajokli decides to take over until....well he takes over, ghost rider style.

I agree in principle, but I do doubt that it is strictly true.  We know that Kellhus was increasingly influenced by "darkness" as he neared Golgotterath and at least some (or maybe even most) was Ajolki's doing.  So, while I do think that is "Kellhus" talking before his head is a gout of flames, I really doubt it is "pure Kellhus" and even that a "pure Kellhus" exists at that point.
I completely agree. It's still Kellhus, but the strings puppeteering him are growing more and more solid.

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« Reply #110 on: October 09, 2017, 04:19:15 pm »
Quote from:  H
I agree in principle, but I do doubt that it is strictly true.  We know that Kellhus was increasingly influenced by "darkness" as he neared Golgotterath and at least some (or maybe even most) was Ajolki's doing.  So, while I do think that is "Kellhus" talking before his head is a gout of flames, I really doubt it is "pure Kellhus" and even that a "pure Kellhus" exists at that point.

I can agree with that explanation.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #111 on: October 10, 2017, 12:34:56 am »
How does he know he is outmatched? I never got the feeling he felt outmatched. As Bakker said, he had become so powerful he was literally speaking with the Gods voice.
He is aware of the Dunsult possibility, as per his own words. And even being a prodigy among Dunyain doesn't mean he can take many of them on without worry. Even two against one is generally not good odds, which doesn't change in a sorcerous battle. Again, he basically should assume that the Dunyain in the Consult know sorcery. They had the means to learn it and the time to do so. Plus, they have the Tekne, and Kellhus does not.

Also, at some point Serwa states that, like everyone else, her father is outmatched. That's why she later fights Skuthula. Granted, she might be mistaken in evaluating Kellhus's sorcerous might, but she is also the most competent assessor we have.

So, Kellhus needed a wallop, and later we get Ajokli, who Kellhus is aware of (at least, we can read the Golden Room scenes this way). That explains his contingency, looks logical, and is supported by the narrative (though the latter is, of course, interpretative, as basically everything is in the Second Apocalypse).

That's not saying Kellhus didn't have other contingencies. It would be very disappointing to me if he didn't. But when we talk about pure power play with the Consult, Ajokli just works.

I just think he had his own ideas of what was going to go down and not Ajokli taking over and leaving him vulnerable.
That's straight up confirmed by Bakker (if the quote is needed, I will look for it). And I see it as a neat example of Kellhus making a mistake and suffering for it, which is fitting for the series as I understand it.

But yes, he should've planned for his failure and might surprise us with his options.

I agree in principle, but I do doubt that it is strictly true.  We know that Kellhus was increasingly influenced by "darkness" as he neared Golgotterath and at least some (or maybe even most) was Ajolki's doing.  So, while I do think that is "Kellhus" talking before his head is a gout of flames, I really doubt it is "pure Kellhus" and even that a "pure Kellhus" exists at that point.
That is my impression as well, though I feel it necessary to note that such situation would have everyone involved acting suboptimally until the point when only one agency is calling the shots. This eventually leads to the Consult's victory, but, more importantly, doesn't give us a clear picture of Kellhus or Ajokli's plans. We get a distorted representation of them, so even complete clarity on the matter of whose agency influences what events will likely leave us with insufficient information to make accurate predictions about the futures of Kellhus, Ajokli, and their stratagems.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 03:46:30 am by SmilerLoki »

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« Reply #112 on: October 10, 2017, 04:21:41 pm »
Oh, from my reading and the simple fact of the decapitants and that glossary entry and the head in a pole scene from TGO (that clearly was Ajokli), they had some sort of relationship. But, I agree, I don't think Kellhus struck any deals.

And, here's my confusion where you then contribute ALL dialogue in the Golden Room to Ajokli. Kellhus was going in the GR on his own terms. One clue this isn't Ajokli the whole time, is telling Malowebi avert your eyes.... Why would Ajokli care what a mere soul saw in the IF? All dialogue up until the point Kellhus's head bursts into flames, I attribute to Kellhus. I believe that Ajokli is there waiting for the right time and steps in when wants and then the dialogue about making them his slaves and he'll in Earth, blah, blah,  blah.

I don't see how you can think they didn't make a pact and attribute all dialogue to Ajokli. Doesn't make sense to me. I agree, no pact and Ajokli just using Kellhus as a vehicle for treachery. But, I can't attribute the dialogue to Ajokli. Not at all. Anyhow. We're here, let's tease this out...meld or what have you.

Thanks, MSJ :).

For me it's the "globular black distortion" (badly paraphrasing) that Malowebi sees obscuring Kellhus' reflection about a page and a half before Malowebi see the same distortion over the other Decapitant, the one with horns, right before Kellhus head goes full-Ghost Rider.

It implies that Ajokli has already started puppeteering - as tleilaxu put it - Kellhus before Malowebi looks at the reflection at all. 

I agree with you wholeheartedly here. But, then how do you, again, attribute all dialogue to Ajokli? I just don't see where your toe positions align, at all. Could you help me out to make it clearer please? I love you!

[EDIT Madness: Fixed quote tag.]

Lol, well, I still have my final TUC "almanac-ish" post to do yet so I probably won't go breaking down the text line by line until I get that done.

I'm starting to waver on "all" but I'm still on about "most." profgrape is my Ajokli-Voice, always feeding my quibbling.

Kellhus was going in the GR on his own terms.
Then what would those terms be, if he isn't relying on a divine agency to back him up when he is clearly outmatched and knows this?

On a different note, I like how Malowebi calls Ajokli "the Ciphrang-God".

On the former, I think Kellhus honestly thought he was going to outmatch the possibility of Consult-Dunyain, at least with the help of Serwa et al., given that he'd suspected the possibility "since Dagliash."

On that latter, that is interesting.

One way to think about it: it's Kellhus speaking what he thinks are his thoughts but in truth, the impetus (AKA DTCB) is coming from Ajokli.  When the Ciphrang-God manifests, it's really just to cow the Mutilated into submission.

At this point, I'm more or less convinced that the Great Ordeal was little more than a contrivance to get Ajokli to the GR, the topos of topoi.

Thanks for trying to parse the particulars with me for months on end ;).

Fair enough. Not that I'll agree just yet, but, if that's the case (the ordeal was to get Ajokli to GR) why wouldn't there be a pact between him and Kellhus?

This crux is really interesting to me since *so* many readers seem to have interpreted the text as Ajokli and Kellhus making a deal. I never thought this and as per usual this discrepancy seems noteworthy to me. Besides the "pacts with the Pit" line, why does anyone think Kellhus and Ajokli had a conversation and made a transaction?

Why would Ajokli care about Malowebi's soul and him looking into the IF?

For that matter, why would Kellhus? We still don't have any idea what shenanigans he was up to replacing Malowebi with his previous decapitant anyway.

Too many of the motivations behind this stuff are too dark.

This honestly strikes me as important, especially given FB's assertion that there are more than two Decapitants in play - following from his reading of The Carathayan before even TUC.

I did, I think at some point, speculate that the "living shall not haunt the dead" line specifically refers to Kellhus' use (and perhaps misuse, if you'd like to see it from that persepctive) of the Daimos.

I'd have to check but - given that I can refer to the drafts a little more freely since Zaudunyanicon - I believe there is a line from Serwa to Moenghus in TGO regarding how "the dead outnumber us so" (badly paraphrasing).

I just don't think the "all Ajokli" explanation fits any more than the "all Kellhus" explanation.

The key is that both are entangled with each other.  It doesn't seem, to me, to fit the narrative and thematic purpose if it's so cut and dry.

+1, I'm swinging around. But as above, I'm still more Ajokli, less Kellhus.

Right. I don't think it is "all Kellhus", I just do attribute the dialogue to him up until it's obvious that Ajokli has taking over. You know from Malowebi saying how it looks like Kellhus has black globular on him that that is Ajokli inhabiting him, or beginning to. I just don't think Ajokli decides to take over until....well he takes over, ghost rider style.

I mentioned my thoughts on this above - you infected me with your use of "globular" because I used it above and I don't think the text actually says that, does it?

As, Kellhus calls himself the Inverse Prophet. He brought news of the Consult to the Gods. I just think he had his own ideas of what was going to go down and not Ajokli taking over and leaving him vulnerable.

profgrape and I have talked about the "Inverse Prophet" line a lot...

He is aware of the Dunsult possibility, as per his own words. And even being a prodigy among Dunyain doesn't mean he can take many of them on without worry. Even two against one is generally not good odds, which doesn't change in a sorcerous battle. Again, he basically should assume that the Dunyain in the Consult know sorcery. They had the means to learn it and the time to do so. Plus, they have the Tekne, and Kellhus does not.

Also, at some point Serwa states that, like everyone else, her father is outmatched. That's why she later fights Skuthula. Granted, she might be mistaken in evaluating Kellhus's sorcerous might, but she is also the most competent assessor we have.

Perhaps, he is actually depending on his Daughter and the Ordeal to gain the Upright Horn and assist him.

So, Kellhus needed a wallop, and later we get Ajokli, who Kellhus is aware of (at least, we can read the Golden Room scenes this way). That explains his contingency, looks logical, and is supported by the narrative (though the latter is, of course, interpretative, as basically everything is in the Second Apocalypse).

See, nowhere did I get the sense that Kellhus was aware of the impending takeover. Aware that he was compromised, sure. By what or whom, no.

That's not saying Kellhus didn't have other contingencies. It would be very disappointing to me if he didn't. But when we talk about pure power play with the Consult, Ajokli just works.

Lol, profgrape is supposed to be making a thread... profgrape?

But yes, it seems likely from Bakker's "dead but not done" comment, and just appreciating Kellhus' intellect, that Kellhus had contingencies.

I'm still pining a Ministrate story.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 04:24:01 pm by Madness »
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« Reply #113 on: October 11, 2017, 12:02:02 am »
Quote from: Madness
This crux is really interesting to me since *so* many readers seem to have interpreted the text as Ajokli and Kellhus making a deal. I never thought this and as per usual this discrepancy seems noteworthy to me. Besides the "pacts with the Pit" line, why does anyone think Kellhus and Ajokli had a conversation and made a transaction?

I think there's the possibility of a pact between Kellhus and Ajokli, I'm just not one who truly thinks there was. I brought this up because I profgrape thinks there isn't a pact, why would the Ordeal be used to get Ajokli to the GR?

Here's what I think and it goes back to "the living shall not haunt the dead". They (Gods) "pondered" Kellhus and he evidently talked to them about the NG via the Diamos. No deal need be struck. But, Ajokli could have seen Kellhus's power and used it as a vehicle to create a "hell on Earth". I'm spitballing here, so I'll have to think on it some more.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

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« Reply #114 on: October 11, 2017, 03:22:40 am »
Perhaps, he is actually depending on his Daughter and the Ordeal to gain the Upright Horn and assist him.
This just doesn't work for me. If he needed their help, he shouldn't have gone into the Golden Room alone. He had every opportunity not to do so.

See, nowhere did I get the sense that Kellhus was aware of the impending takeover. Aware that he was compromised, sure. By what or whom, no.
It depends, for example, on who we attribute the line about striking deals with the Pit to. While I do think it's interesting to ponder Ajokli saying that (I didn't think that at all until you mentioned it), ultimately it seems far less likely to me than Kellhus making a pact with Ajokli to use a divine agency against the Consult as a countermeasure for Tekne and in general the unknowns of the Ark.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 03:43:36 am by SmilerLoki »

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« Reply #115 on: October 11, 2017, 12:48:05 pm »
Perhaps, he is actually depending on his Daughter and the Ordeal to gain the Upright Horn and assist him.
This just doesn't work for me. If he needed their help, he shouldn't have gone into the Golden Room alone. He had every opportunity not to do so.
Yes, but I think Bakker's answer in regards to his plan failing outline why that would make sense.
Quote
Thank you distantdiscord: Kellhus became less Kellhus and more Ajokli the nearer he came to Golgotterath. He failed to execute on the Thousandfold Thought because he took the stability of his personal identity for granted.
His entering Golgotterath may very well have been due to the worsening situation with Ajokli. Think on how Kayutas and Serwa react during the discussion.
"I saw Father upon the Vigil."
"So soon?"
"We need to storm the Ark now!"
The plan very much seemed to be going ahead of schedule.

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« Reply #116 on: October 11, 2017, 01:42:20 pm »
Yes, but I think Bakker's answer in regards to his plan failing outline why that would make sense.
Then the timing doesn't really make sense. Why wouldn't Ajokli-possessing-Kellhus just storm the Golden Room by his lonesome a day or two earlier, if he is in such a hurry to manifest in the physical world that Kellhus's well-being doesn't matter to him? Kellhus was sufficiently close to the Ark for a while (I can't really buy that some couple of miles make the difference), but only enters it during the climactic battle, said battle being planned from the get-go. Postulating that he entered the Ark because he suddenly lost control exactly then seems contrived.

On the other hand, it makes perfect sense if we consider the whole Ajokli-as-a-weapon thing planned by him. Kellhus needs to battle full Dunyain. However good are his sorcerers, it's unreasonable to think they would be on par with the Dunsult. Even Serwa is much weaker than her father, which is evidenced by him using the Cant of Translocation over and over again while falling to successfully battle a flying enemy and her being able to use it once in a more or less calm circumstances and then requiring a prolonged rest. So Kellhus's engaging a God as his enforcer looks like a reasonable plan and explains his words about walking the Conditioned Ground in the Golden Room even without his Ordeal. Otherwise we need to attribute those words to Ajokli, and then they sound off. Not unexplainable, but off.

[EDIT] Another important thing that comes to mind is Kellhus using sorcery before his head gets engulfed in flames, but not during that time. Do we think that a God, even possessing a mortal, would be able to use sorcery? At the moment of entering the Golden Room the possession would need to be almost complete, so there is basically no Kellhus left, it's Ajokli uttering Metagnostic Cants.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 02:10:00 pm by SmilerLoki »

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« Reply #117 on: October 11, 2017, 02:19:10 pm »
Yes, but I think Bakker's answer in regards to his plan failing outline why that would make sense.
Then the timing doesn't really make sense. Why wouldn't Ajokli-possessing-Kellhus just storm the Golden Room by his lonesome a day or two earlier, if he is in such a hurry to manifest in the physical world that Kellhus's well-being doesn't matter to him? Kellhus was sufficiently close to the Ark for a while (I can't really buy that some couple of miles make the difference), but only enters it during the climactic battle, said battle being planned from the get-go. Postulating that he entered the Ark because he suddenly lost control exactly then seems contrived.
I'm not sure where you are getting the assumptions that he was close enough previously. If anything, I would say we're shown and told that him getting close is precisely an important thing.
- We're told a couple times by Bakker in his Q&A that Kellhus' possession was 1. a gradual process and 2. got worse the closer he got to the Ark.
- Think on Kakaliol, the ciphrang we see a couple point of view entries on. It isn't until he's literally right next to the massive torpos of the Ark that he can slip his bindings to escape. He was right next to it, trapped. And only once nearly touching it.
So it certainly makes sense to me that Ajokli likely couldn't manifest as he did until they were in the golden room a bit.

I think the phrasing 'suddenly lost control' is off. He was losing control for a while. Bakker even outlined this, "He drifted into it, before finally being seized in the Golden Room." We're told he makes other mistakes because of his spiritual duress, namely missing that Esement would free Kelmomas. His thinking was compromised. Why he might have thought he walked the conditioned ground can certainly be attributed to flawed thinking whilst under divine influence, if not outright possession.

Quote
On the other hand, it makes perfect sense if we consider the whole Ajokli-as-a-weapon thing planned by him. Kellhus needs to battle full Dunyain. However good are his sorcerers, it's unreasonable to think they would be on par with the Dunsult. Even Serwa is much weaker than her father, which is evidenced by him using the Cant of Translocation over and over again while falling to successfully battle a flying enemy and her being able to use it once in a more or less calm circumstances and then require a prolonged rest. So Kellhus's engaging a God as his enforcer looks like a reasonable plan and explains his words about walking the Conditioned Ground in the Golden Room even without his Ordeal. Otherwise we need to attribute those words to Ajokli, and then they sound off. Not unexplainable, but off.

[EDIT] Another important thing that comes to mind is Kellhus using sorcery before his head gets engulfed in flames, but not during that time. Do we think that a God, even possessing a mortal, would be able to use sorcery? At the moment of entering the Golden Room the possession would need to be almost complete, so there is basically no Kellhus left, it's Ajokli uttering Metagnostic Cants.
It hardly makes perfect sense. Why is it unreasonable to think they could have take the Mutilated absent a God? Serwa, despite being lesser, is still an amazing witch. Kellhus is likely the best ever, Kayutas is an amazing warrior, and the host of Schools are quite capable. The Mutilated had no more nukes, we see no more lazer weapons, they have no magic, and Aurang and Mek die. Seems like they certainly could have been their match.

I think you're viewing the possession as a switch flipping. One moment Kellhus, the next Ajokli. but several times the implication is that it a gradual process, a 'drifting'. I see no issue with the idea of Kellhus having sorcery at his command until Ajokli truly takes over. Kellhus is merely the one using it until it happens, whilst under the divine influence.

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« Reply #118 on: October 11, 2017, 03:01:15 pm »
I'm not sure where you are getting the assumptions that he was close enough previously.
I don't like this idea at all because the Ordeal was extremely close to the Horns. So basically it comes to exact measures, in fiction. A mile away Kellhus is compromised but still can more or less think straight, half a mile away he is extremely compromised, flying about the Upright Horn (like, a couple of hundred feet away from the Ark?) in a climactic battle with Aurang he loses it and goes to his death. If his plan was to get the Ordeal into the Golden Room with him, then that doesn't work, so what's left is only Ajokli's plan, which Kellhus isn't aware of in accordance with the constraints of the "Kellhus doesn’t know about Ajokli" theory. So going into the Room alone is him committing suicide and not noticing it because of the divine influence. Yet he is able to cast Metagnostic Cants, use noticeably Dunyain terms, and hold a reasonable conversation with the Dunsult (from their point of view and from ours).

Nonetheless, all of it happens because he went over some very specific distance threshold, which is not specified to us (unlike with Kalakiol) and which happens exactly after such climactic scenes as: him saving Serwa, cutting down the Canted Horn, and defeating Aurang.

To me such a contrived coincidence is extremely grating when it can be completely eschewed by a different reading of the events.

- We're told a couple times by Bakker in his Q&A that Kellhus' possession was 1. a gradual process and 2. got worse the closer he got to the Ark.
I have no desire to dispute this, because it simply works. But the moment of possession is clearly outlined in the narrative by Kellhus's head bursting into flames (just like the moment Kalakiol gets freedom is outlined). Before that he is compromised, but not to the point of being completely unreasonable (like going into the Golden Room without his Ordeal, which was strictly needed there if he didn't make a deal with Ajokli). He makes mistakes, but not obviously suicidal mistakes.

It hardly makes perfect sense. Why is it unreasonable to think they could have take the Mutilated absent a God? Serwa, despite being lesser, is still an amazing witch. Kellhus is likely the best ever, Kayutas is an amazing warrior, and the host of Schools are quite capable. The Mutilated had no more nukes, we see no more lazer weapons, they have no magic, and Aurang and Mek die. Seems like they certainly could have been their match.
Because he doesn't know they don't have more nukes (he specifically asks about this), has no idea what else was salvaged in the Ark, and the Dunsult has magic (they use sorcery to get Kelmomas into the Carapace). And also there is a huge host and prepared defenses even without all those things.

They are outmatched, I see logic in Serwa's assessment. The only thing in contention is whether Kellhus agrees, but his opinion on the matter is not presented and he evidently had no desire to reassure Serwa.

I think you're viewing the possession as a switch flipping. One moment Kellhus, the next Ajokli
I'm not sure what makes you think so. Could you elaborate?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 03:47:01 pm by SmilerLoki »

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« Reply #119 on: October 11, 2017, 03:50:59 pm »
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I don't like this idea at all because the Ordeal was extremely close to the Horns. So basically it comes to exact measures, in fiction. A mile away Kellhus is compromised but still can more or less think straight, half a mile away he is extremely compromised, flying about the Upright Horn (like, a couple of hundred feet away from the Ark?) in a climactic battle with Aurang he loses it and goes to his death. If his plan was to get the Ordeal into the Golden Room with him, then that doesn't work, so what's left is only Ajokli's plan, which Kellhus isn't aware of in accordance with the constraints of the "Kellhus doesn’t know about Ajokli" theory. So going into the Room alone is him committing suicide and not noticing it because of the divine influence. Yet he is able to cast Metagnostic Cants, use noticeably Dunyain terms, and hold a reasonable conversation with the Dunsult (from their point of view and from ours).
The problem is that we don't know why he precisely went in, but there are other rational considerations he might have been making (at least that he might have thought were rational). Scouting out the remaining members of the Consult, confirming there were Dunyain/who as left otherwise, expecting his sorcery to be enough, that sort of thing. Just because he's compromised doesn't mean he suddenly also loses the ability to cast sorcery or hold a conversation. Had Ajokli not possessed him, he very well may have been able to teleport out, defend himself, flee prior to the skinspies surronding him, etc.

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Nonetheless, all of it happens because he went over some very specific distance threshold, which is not specified to us (unlike with Kalakiol) and which happens exactly after such climactic scenes as: him saving Serwa, cutting down the Canted Horn, and defeating Aurang.

To me such a contrived coincidence is extremely grating when it can be completely eschewed by a different reading of the events.
I don't see the issue, but you're acting as though the whole 'getting more possessed as he got closer' thing is an entirely arbitrary measure. Again, certainly, we don't know a lot about daemonic possession or the Daimos overall. But I don't see literally being inside the most severe torpos as a weird qualified for a god manifesting. I don't think the Kakaliol is exactly the same situation, but I think we can use it to extrapolate that being a foot away from or inside the Ark is what makes the difference.

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I have no desire to dispute this, because it simply works. But the moment of possession is clearly outlined in the narrative by Kellhus's head bursting into flames (just like the moment Kalakiol gets freedom is outlined). Before that he is compromised, but not to the point of being completely unreasonable (like going into the Golden Room without his Ordeal, which was strictly necessary if he didn't make a deal with Ajokli). He makes mistakes, but not obviously suicidal mistakes.
I guess we'll just have to disagree on this one. As I noted above, we don't know the precise reason Compromised Kellhus chose to go inside in this theory. But there are reasons that preclude it being a massive blunder on a suicidal level.

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Because he doesn't know they don't have more nukes (he specifically asks about this), has no idea what else was salvaged in the Ark, and the Dunsult has magic (they use sorcery to get Kelmomas into the Carapace). And also there is a huge host and prepared defenses even without all those things.

They are outmatched, I see logic in Serwa's assessment. The only thing in contention is whether Kellhus agrees, but his opinion on the matter is not presented and he evidently had no desire to reassure Serwa
  I admittedly forgot they used sorcery at that point. Though, it doesn't really note how many possess it or to what degree. I don't agree the Ordeal couldn't defeat the Consult without a god. Personally, I think Kellhus could have won, had he not been possessed. Wether Kellhus felt that way or not is a contention, but given the 'So soon?' line, it still seems to fall in line that they were to join him in challenge the Consult.

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I'm not sure what makes you think so. Could you elaborate?
Again, we know the process was gradual. Kellhus was there in some capacity until Ajokli was fully manifested. Given he was able to use the Metagnosis outside while compromsied and inside while compromised, just makes sense that it was him doing so.